Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workforce WednesdayI could not pass up sharing the following testimonial from Eileen Thawley, a Marine Corps veteran in Northern Virginia. IT Jobs for Veterans provides funding for veterans to obtain training, certification and job placement assistance. The program started out placing unemployed veterans in IT jobs but has since expanded to all training and assistance that can give veterans a competitive edge in the job market.

Thawley“When I lost my job last April, I was completely caught off guard and frankly in a bit of a panic. I visited a Veterans Job Fair and met Veterans Representative William Marquez. He spent a great deal of time talking to me about the opportunities that were available to me as a veteran and how the Arlington Employment Center could help me. Not only did he give me a great deal of information, but he lifted my spirits and gave me hope for my future in a time when I was really afraid and needed some direction”.

Following the job fair, Thawley was introduced to Sandy Smith, Transition Services Manager at the Arlington Employment Center. Smith helped Thawley apply for federal government jobs and modify her resume. With the Veterans Rapid Response grant assistance, Thawley also enrolled in school at George Mason University to learn about Procurement and Government Contracting.

“After learning about the grant for schooling at George Mason, I started thinking, what else is out there for me? I was able to get the Veterans Administration to send me to Villanova through the Vocational Rehab Program and I just completed that as well. I am now thoroughly educated in Government Contracting.” Thawley said.

While in school, Thawley continued to apply for jobs and attend jobs fairs. She interviewed with two different businesses and was offered both positions just three months after losing her job.

“I was so nervous about the interviews but Sandy was there for me. She was my rock through the fear and the laughter. I brushed off my suits and practiced what I would say in the interview. Because of the additional education at George Mason and Villanova, I will qualify to receive a step increase once I am in my new position for a year, which will be August 1st.”

For more information on the IT Jobs for Veterans Program visit: http://aec.arlingtonva.us/home/veterans-services/.  

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before trading in the city lifestyle to raise her family in Hanover, Virginia. She has worked at Virginia’s Community Colleges for over 2 years promoting Workforce Development.

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